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Asian Turmoil's Impact on Internet Industry To Be Addressed

This year's Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference For Operational Technologies (APRICOT) will examine the regional economic turmoil's impact on the Internet industry.

"The particular mission for Apricot 99 is, to paraphrase, a bigger bang for your baht," said Pindar Wong, an executive council member for APRICOT '99, which is being held in Singapore from 1-5 March.

"The slow down in the economy has also impacted the Internet industry, specifically the Internet service provider industry, whose basic cost structure is primarily dominated in US dollars," Wong said.

"They have faced tremendous financial pressure to make their service more efficient and to introduce new value added services."

Wong said Apricot '99 is primarily focused around bringing the latest skills and knowledge required for those ISPs to survive in the current regional economic climate.

Since its inception in 1996, the non-profit conference's purpose has been to develop and advance the skills and understanding necessary to keep the Internet growing in the Asia Pacific region.

The majority of attendees are technology professionals from around the region and the world.

There were approximately 320 attendees from 24 countries in 1998, 630 in 1997, and 280 in 1996.

"This year, because of the financial crisis we trying to be very conservative. Our lower bound estimate is 300 and our upper bound estimate is 600," said Wong. "It all really depends on the financial pressure of the delegates coming from all over the region."

Similarly, despite the loyalty of traditional sponsors, APRICOT has had some difficulty coordinating sponsorship for this year's event.

APRICOT '99 is taking place during a festival of technology shows, meetings and conferences in Singapore at the beginning of March. They include Internet World Asia, the Singapore Linux Conference, ICANN and the annual general meetings of several leading Asia Pacific Internet organizations.



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